Most, if not all, aspects of business are now digitized for efficiencies – this is the new normal.

In line with this technological evolution, the management of corporate travel has also been a privy to such advancements – especially in the area of payments. Over the last couple of years, there has been a steady increase in the number of companies that have forgone the traditional commercial cards, and have now adopted numerous virtual payment mediums.

Generally speaking, businesses have also started adding virtual payments into their accounts payable cycle (as a means of swift and proficient invoice payment). But beyond this obvious advantage, how else have virtual forms of payment taken the sting out of corporate travel management? The following are some reasons why you should care:

Transactions are much more comprehensive
Corporate travel is an expensive – albeit an integral – endeavor for most businesses. Due to astronomical costs, businesses are constantly on the hunt for processes, procedures or platforms that would help them better understand the nature of this inevitability.

This is true especially for most Chief Financial Officers – who are fundamentally tasked with being the company’s monetary gatekeeper, and essentially, lead important proposals in finance that fortify the company’s overall goals. With that said, how then can CFOs champion such crucial recommendations if they don’t fully grasp the granular details of travel expenses?

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Virtual payment solutions have alleviated such tension points by offering the gift of extensive customisation. Companies now have access to rich, line-by-line information about any travel related expense.

Business owners and CFOs now have such an extensive amount of intelligence at their fingertips, which now affords them to intricately understand their employee’s travel habits, identify trends and overlapping themes, and confidently put forth strategic streamlining suggestions that are analytically rigorous.

Diminishes the frequency of fraud
Paper based payment methods – such as cheques - have been said to be costly, inefficient, and more prone to frauds. Despite this understanding, 42% of B2B companies still make such paper-based payments.

Virtual payment solutions on the other hand are the complete antithesis to such “dark-age” resolutions mainly because of an abundance of controls.

Via such virtual conduits, companies can now implement strict e-payment “lock downs” to specific virtual payment cards for instance, which not only restrict reckless travel spending, but also, easily identify and curb illegal activity by unassuming perpetrators.

2016 is the year of virtual payment for Suppliers
According to this “e-Payment Rising: The 2014 Market Report” conducted by both Ardent Partners (a US-based research and advisory firm focused on defining supply management strategies) and usBank, 86% of all enterprises predicted that a majority of their suppliers will be paid electronically by 2016.

As you can see, the value proposition for embracing various ePayment solutions is of weighty importance and worth serious consideration. Hopefully, these hints provide the much-needed inspiration for business owners, travel managers, and other financial management executives who are sat at a crossroads with the prospects to embrace worthwhile change, and become the swift facilitator in transforming their travel payment operations.

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 Written by Ross Fastuca @Locomote 


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